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Fatwa Justifies War Against Saddam


Well, not quite. But Yosseff Bodansky writes in his new book about the fatwa of a Shite leader in Iraq after the Gulf War when Saddam was putting down a revolt in the south. If only we could have this fatwa rolled over to cover our coming war in Iraq . . . but I assume it doesn’t work that way:

“Many Iranians were eager to assist the Shiite revolt in Iraq, especially as Saddam’s Republican Guard began devastating the Shiite holy shrines in Najaf and Qarbala. The crisis peaked in mid-March, when the Grand Ayatollah Abul-Qassim al-Khoi—one of the most senior Shiite religious leaders in the world—issued a fatwa against Saddam. The fatwa decreed that anyone killed fighting Baghdad’s troops was a martyr and thus assured a place in heaven. The fatwa also declared Saddam and his henchmen to be apostates, which meant that a Muslim was permitted to shed their blood. There can be no greater denunciation in Islam and no stronger call for an all-out rebellion. Baghdad reacted with fury, intensifying the assault on Najaf.”


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